§4125. Findings and purpose

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/09/111A/04125
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Commerce and Trade






4125. Findings and purpose

The General

Assembly makes the following findings of fact:

(1) Today's

international trade agreements have impacts which extend significantly beyond

the bounds of traditional trade matters such as tariffs and quotas. Restrictive

government procurement rules, for example, may undermine State purchasing laws

and preferences that are designed to promote good jobs and a healthy


(2) As the

subject matters contained within trade agreements expand, these agreements may

impact on areas traditionally governed by the states, including economic

development, financial investment, environmental policies, pharmaceutical

policy, recreational services, utilities and energy distribution, and

agricultural subsidies. The subject matter addressed by trade agreements is

constantly evolving into new areas and becomes more likely over time to

infringe on State law or policy.

(3) Specific

examples in one area important to Vermont-State economic development and

environmental policies-that might be constrained by government procurement

provisions in international trade agreements include buy-local laws, electronic

waste recycling laws, and renewable energy purchasing requirements. Measures

that conflict with obligations in one or more international trade agreements

could be challenged as potential barriers to trade.

(4) Input from

states has been essential to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's

understanding of state practices that may be impacted by policies in trade

agreements. For example, after states protested that language in the

Australia-United States trade agreement was ambiguous and created uncertainty

as to whether it applied to Medicaid preferred drug lists, the United States

specifically clarified in the Korea-United States trade agreement that similar

pharmaceutical policies did not apply to Medicaid.

(5) Currently,

the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asks state governors, without input

from state legislatures, whether they will commit state purchasing to trade

rules. States, through their governors, may opt into or out of trade rules

dealing with government procurement.


Historically, the General Assembly and the Governor have worked together to

adopt and implement State procurement policies. The decision to consent to the

coverage of Vermont under procurement provisions of international trade

agreements should also include consultation with and agreement by the

Legislative Branch.

(7) If future

trade rules permit states to opt into or out of trade rules dealing with

investment and services, in addition to procurement, then the General Assembly

intends for the procedures in this chapter to apply to those provisions as


(8) It is

important for the State to provide information and recommendations to Congress

and the U.S. Trade Representative about the possible impacts of proposed trade

agreements on State law and policy. (Added 2009, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 43;

eff. April 15, 2010.)